PHOTO MONTAGE: Chiang Rai Times
A 27 year old Thai woman, Sawitree Phromwong, was allegedly murdered last week by a scorned ex lover after he confronted the woman and her new boyfriend at the Pa Sak market in Chaing Rai. She was sitting in the back of a car when shot. The man then jumped back into his car, along with the shotgun he used to kill his former girlfriend, and fled the scene.
The incident follows weeks of online media exchanges on social media between the pair, according to police. Last Thursday Thai police sought an arrest warrant for the Chiang Mai man living in the province over the murder of his ex girlfriend while she visited a popular market with her new lover.
Chiang Rai police report that the woman had been engaged in an online spat with her ex boyfriend, identified by police as 31 year old Ek Udom. The man was already known to Chiang Rai police and had an extensive criminal history.
The woman’s new boyfriend was waiting for police with the injured Sawitree. Emergency services tended to the woman but she died on the way to hospital as a result of head injuries. He briefed police on the background to the incident, the social media messaging and the events that had led to the fatal shooting.
SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times, ThaiExaminer.com
Tourism Council of Thailand cites Thai baht as biggest challenge to tourism
The strong Thai baht is proving to be the biggest obstacle in trying to lure tourists, according to The Tourism Council of Thailand who have had to lower its projection of over 40 million foreign visitors this year down to 39.7 million.
The president of the council says the surging baht is the main reason for the decline.
“It’s frightening to see the baht so close to 30 to a dollar. It’s the key reason for arrivals and receipts growth being lower than expected.”
The country’s significant current account surplus is being blamed for the strengthening of the currency and Somchai Amornthum from Krungthai Asset Management (KTAM) says that although the surplus is less than it was last year, it could still strengthen the baht, albeit at a slower rate.
“The baht could break past the 30 per dollar band at some stage next year, but the degree of currency appreciation is not expected to be too strong.” KTAM predicts that the baht will be at 31 to the dollar by the end of the year and 30 by the end of next year.
It has outperformed every other Asian currency this year with its strength hurting exporters and the tourism industry. The Bank of Thailand is limited in what measures it can introduce, with the policy interest rate already low, and Somchai says any further policy easing would have limited effect.
Italian busted in Australia smuggling heroin
An 49-year-old Italian has been charged with drug smuggling after arriving at Perth Airport from Chiang Mai. He allegedly had about 300 grams of heroin, worth about 135,000 Australian dollars, hidden inside his body.
After trace technology during a baggage examination showed positive for narcotics, Australian Border Force officers referred him to the Australian Federal Police for an internal exam.
The man was taken to hospital where 63 pellets of heroin were allegedly found in his stomach. X-Rays also revealed three more pellets of heroin had been internally inserted into his rectum.
Photo: Australian Border Force
He was charged with importing a controlled drug and faces 25 years in prison.
A spokeman for the Australian Border Forcesaid the ABF is fully aware of the lengths people are willing to go to bring drugs into Australia.
“They not only risk lengthy jail time, but are playing Russian roulette with their own lives and health,” he said.
“Smuggling drugs internally is an incredibly stupid endeavour. Furthermore there is a risk that stomach acid will eat through the wrapping of the heroin, consequently risking a fatal drug overdose,” according to federal police.
Earthquake could hit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
A magnitude 4.1 tremor shook seven districts of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai on Friday night, prompting the Department of Mineral Resources to warn that the two northern provinces could face a magnitude 5 earthquake within ten years.
The prediction is based on analysis of movements in the Mae Tha fault lines, including the 5.1 ML quake in December 2006, centred under the Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai.
Geological studies in Ban Pong Samakkhi, Chiang Mai, indicate that the area experienced a 5.9 ML quake about 2,000 years ago.
Photo : earthquake.tmd.go.th
Friday’s temblor occurred at 9:46 pm, with its epicentre about six kilometres below the surface in Doi Saked district.
The tremor was felt in the Muang, Prao, San Sai, Doi Saket and Hang Dong districts of Chiang Mai and Wiang Papao district of Chiang Rai, though there have been no reports of casualties or property damage.
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